Located just west of Hachinohe and north of Sannohe, Nanbu Town is less than an hour drive from Misawa Air base. Surrounded by Mt. Nakui and the Mabechi River ( Aomori Prefecture 's longest river), these fertile foothills provide a wide variety of rich tasting fruits, innovation and culture.
CAMPING AND RECREATION
The Nagawa Cherry Village is just the spot for those who love the outdoors and nature. At the top of this hill are two restaurants with a lodge and natural hot springs . Your kids will want to check out climbing the 100 foot high Dragon Tower . At the bottom you have a campground with tent sites and rentable “tree houses” that fit up to 4 people. Warm shower houses and toilets abound. No reservations required. In between, you have a myriad of walking, hiking and biking trails, and even tennis courts too. Some cabins are available as well. To rent the cabins you will need to have a Japanese person call in advance at the near-by Nagawa Agricultural Tourist Information Center , 0178-76-3020.
DRY FLOWER CENTER
If you are into arts & crafts, you will want to visit The Dry Flower Center . Open year round, this unique shop has not only ready-made goods including framed flower-art paintings but everything conceivable for those who prefer to do it yourself. The friendly staff is always on hand and will assist you in making tapestries, flower baskets, wreaths, flower hearts, key chains, book marks, greeting cards, straps, etc. Families are welcome,
0178-75-1841. Just the smell of flowers as you walk into the Center will amaze you!
HOKOJI TEMPLE AREA/Mt. Nakui
For those who really like old traditional Japanese temples, the over 700 year old Hokoji Temple site deserves time to be explored. Built between 1249 and 1256 AD, the site that was constructed on the side of Mt. Nakui means one must climb up from the main temple to see all the shrines and end up at the magnificent 3 stories pagoda in the back.
While passing through the scenic “1000 pine trees” road, be sure to look for the “Grandfather Cedar”, a 1100 year old tree that towers over 100 feet with a circumference of 25 feet, on the right side of the road just before you get to the temple. There is a small fee charged to enter the temple area.
There is a hiking trail from the back of the temple that will take you to the top of Mt. Nakui . For those who would like to get to the 360° view from the top without a long hike, take the road behind the temple and drive up to the 5 th station (park where the toilets are) and from there it is only a 30 min walk which is great for families with grade school kids and older!
WATER PARK WITH SLIDE
For those who like swimming and water fun, the “Bade-Park” aka Fukuchi Water Park is the place you want to go. Facilities include indoor & outdoor pools (the outdoor pools are open in July & August), a huge water slide, natural hot spring baths, restaurants, free rest areas, weight and running room and hotel. Overnight guest get to use all the facilities for free, but an all day pass is only 1000 yen/adult and 500 yen for kids and students. 0178-84-2850
The best way to find all the nooks & crannies of Nanbu Town is to pick up a free English color guide map. You can find them at Misawa ITT and on top of the rack at the Misawa Inn to the right as you walk in the door.
A FOUR SEASON HARVEST FESTIVAL
IT DOESN'T GET ANY FRESHER THAN THIS!
One of the most enjoyable aspects of coming to Nanbu is the year-round availability of fresh fruits that you are welcome to pick right off the vine, tree or plant! Starting with the sweetest strawberries you ever tasted in winter/spring and finishing the year in late autumn with the juiciest crispy apples, you will also find cherries, plums, blueberries, peaches, pears and persimmons in between.
The town is set up to help you get to the fruit farm of your choice. All you have to do is go to The Nagawa Agricultural Tourist Information Center (open from 8:30 to 5:00).
The staff will call and ask a local farmer to come and guide you to their farm where you will be able to harvest and eat to your heart's content. Children are especially welcome!
Except for strawberries and apples after the Info center closes for the winter season, reservations are no longer needed. To make reservations in English or for any other questions email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHERRIES: MID-JUN TO MID JULY
BLUEBERRIES: MID-JULY TO MID AUGUST
PLUMS: MID-JULY TO LATE SEPTEMBER
PEACHES: EARLY AUGUST TO MID-SEPTEMBER
JAPANESE & WESTERN PEARS: LATE AUGUST TO MID-OCTOBER
Nanbu also hosts some great festivals. Starting with cherry & fruit blossoms event in spring, a cherry fruit festival, the Jakuto Fest and the Nanbu Summer Fest, and ending up in the autumn with 3 local village festivals!
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